How to Make a Medical School Budget- Part 2

As I transition back to school I want to make sure that I’m not going into any more debt than I absolutely need, so I’m making a super school budget!
I wrote about the first steps here. I’m building on how I made my school budget based on my spending analyses.

From my spending analysis I was able to compare my spending in each category side-by-side:

Year End 2013 Year End 2013 Q1 2014 Q1 2014
Category Total Average/month Total Average/month
Debt repayment 4650.27 387.52 900 300
Savings 7530.13 627.51 3363.16 1121.05
Bills 2201.39 183.44 382.75 127.58
Housing 8285.98 690.49 2268.8 756.26
Transportation 3113.63 259.46 512 170.66
Entertainment 1524.09 127 257.76 85.92
Extra 6494.72 541.22 413.59 137.86
Life 2129.08 177.42 467.35 155.78
Spending 35929 2994.1 8565.41 2855.14
Income 35389 2949.11 9701.79 3233.93

This is a great first step, but let’s go deeper!

For each analysis I started stripping away the costs that I won’t have in school

Year End 2013 Year End 2013 Q1 2014 * Q1 2014
Category Total Average/month Total Average/month
Debt repayment 4650.27 387.52 900 300
Savings 7530.13 627.51 3363.16 1121.05
Bills 2201.39 183.44 382.75 127.58
Housing 8285.98 690.49 2268.8 756.26
Transportation 3113.63 259.46 512 170.66
Entert. 1524.09 127 257.76 85.92
Extra 6494.72 541.22 413.59 137.86
Life 2129.08 177.42 467.35 155.78
Spending 35929 2994.1 8565.41 (34261.64 for the year) 2855.14
Income 35389 2949.11 9701.79 3233.93
Minus Debt repayment 31279.02 2606.58 30661.64 2555.13
Minus savings 23748.89 1979.07 17209 1434.08
Half the transportation costs ** 22192.08 1849.34 16185 1348.75

*The total numbers for Q1 were for 3 months (by nature of it being a quarterly review), so I extrapolated these numbers to a yearly amount (I multiplied them by 4)
** I subtracted half of the transportation costs because I will have a bus pass in school, but I am not sure if I will still use car2go/car rentals. I’m hoping this is a high estimate

From these tables I have the most important numbers: 1849.34 and 1348.75, which represent my budget without debt repayment, savings and half the transportation costs.

I then averaged these numbers to reach a modest monthly budget: 1599.04

This number is a great estimate, but does include things like entertainment and ‘extra’, which contribute an average of $106.46 and $339.54 a month respectively. I feel like the entertainment budget is modest so I will keep that, but if you take away half of the extra budget (and again, I hope I’m high-balling it), you can knock off another 169.77 from the monthly living budget to bring it to:

1599.04-169.77=

$1429.27 a month.

Not too shabby I think. A number that is based in reality, my lived spending experience, and does have room for all of the things I am used to spending.

Most importantly, it feels doable. And a budget needs to be doable for it to have any purpose at all!

Considering even working full time I would put over $1000/month into dept repayment and savings I would only have about 1700/month to live in a swanky downtown condo and take a car2go whenever my heart desired.

I do plan on tracking my spending in school and post monthly spending analysis as I did before. It will be a bit different since it’s not exactly a spending analysis as it will be a ‘line of credit tracker’ as I will be putting most of my school and living expenses on credit, but I feel like being just as detailed with my credit will help keep me out of trouble.

I’ll post my sample school budget shortly- let me know if you think I’m missing anything! Except of course tuition, which is a story for another day.

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